When I first started sugaring, I didn’t know anyone else who was doing it. I had just moved to San Francisco after a stint in rehab and had accepted my newfound status as a social pariah – living at a sober living with a bunch of drug-addled grifters and struggling not to go broke off of my minimum wage retail job.

Falling Into Sex Work

Sensuali Blog: Sex Worker
Photo Source: Victoria Akvarel

 

To be fair, I wasn’t nearly as destitute or marginalized as I romanticized myself to be. My parents were covering my housing and therapy and this whole life-out-west-thing was slated to be temporary – a gap year for me to learn the value of the money ($60,000 a year in tuition to be precise) I had been wasting away partying at school.

I remember folding a pair of jeans and putting it on the shelf at the high-end boutique I was “slumming” it at. It was my first real job and I was surprised by how tiring standing on my feet and fake smiling at snobby customers all day could be. Two young women were perusing the store and one made mention of a sugar daddy website, offering an explanation of how it worked to her friend.

My ears perked up and within twenty minutes of making the hour-long bus commute back to my shared bedroom in the sober living, I had already made a profile and begun my hunt for a daddy. The idea of getting paid to have sex was exciting to me, and from a practical standpoint, I imagined having a wealthy, older man to show me around San Francisco would ease both my financial suffering and loneliness.

To a degree, I was right. Within a week on the site, I had met a multi-millionaire French, real-estate guy who would take care of me financially and emotionally for the next year.

Having Friends Who Just Don’t Get It

Sensuali Blog: Loner Chick
Photo Source: Vlad Bagacian

Of the few friends I had made in my short-time living in San Francisco, one of them was a super-privileged, basic blonde bitch from LA named Nikki. We had met at the sober living and she was the kinda gal who was really good at being fake nice until she became jealous of you for something, at which point the passive-aggressive bullshit would begin.

I already felt judged by her and so I kept my sugaring life a secret. How could a trust fund baby like her ever understand the financial desperation involved in selling your body for money? When I eventually moved out of the sober living, our friendship all but dissolved.

It was around this time that I became super close to the girls I worked with at the boutique. While the entire team of eight or so women all formed a little family, Tiff and Alexis were the two I ended up bonding with the most. Both were second-generation immigrants.

Tiff’s parents had immigrated from Vietnam after the war and Alexis’ family hailed from Mexico. Compared to the rich kids I had hung out with in college, I had always felt very middle class. So it took me a while to grasp the fact that my new friends perceived me as a “spoiled, crazy white girl.” 

Looking back, I cringe at the lack of gratitude I had growing up. Even the ability for my parents to send me to a defunct-spa-for-society-ladies-turned-rehab was an opportunity I had rolled my eyes at. While I felt like I could be candid about my sugaring with Tiff and Alexis in a way I hadn’t been able to with Nikki, I still sensed a disconnect.

The sheer absurdity of my life and the way in which I told stories certainly amused them, but they had grown up with a very different value system than I had. Their parents had escaped poverty abroad in search of the American dream, working their asses off to give their children a wealth of opportunities. Had either of them gone into sex work, it would have been a huge “fuck you” to all the sacrifices their parents had made to provide a better life for them in America. 

Meanwhile, my bohemian parents had also worked hard to provide my sister and me with a secure childhood full of art, culture, and opportunities. But they benefited from generational wealth and white privilege, which allowed them to be more loosey-goosey when it came to expectations for their children.

Whereas Tiff’s mom had pressured her into pursuing a pre-med track, my parents simply encouraged me to “find myself” and “be happy.” This, paired with a lack of work ethic and a sense of entitlement allowed me to think of sugaring as a romantic adventure I could one day write a memoir about. 

Though I was indeed strapped for cash, I always knew that it wasn’t my only option. Sex work was just a chapter in the sensational story my life was unfolding to become. Upon moving to New York to finish school and start my life as an adult, I made new friends but none who had a past like mine.

I regaled wild stories to the more open-minded ones and kept my mouth shut around those I perceived to be more uptight, while continuing to sugar on the side to subsidize my shopping addiction and love of Whole Foods. The dissociation that came from fucking men I wasn’t into was definitely doing a number on me, but I felt like it was my burden to bear.

After all, it was a choice I was making. I had options. I didn’t have to go work at an exploitative non-profit upon finishing school. My bleeding heart, privileged ass chose to do so. Nor was I bogged down by college debt in the way many of my peers were. Part of me was into the kink of sugaring but another part of me felt as if I was damaged beyond repair and might as well milk my youthful Lolita look for as long as I could before hunkering down into the matrix of corporate America and getting a “real” job.

Connecting With Other Sugar Babies

Sensuali Blog: Sugar Baby Friends
Photo Source: Aline Viana Prado

I undoubtedly had PTSD but I felt as if I had no right to complain. I knew exactly what I had signed up for and it wasn’t anybody else’s responsibility to console me. But then something happened. An old friend from high school, Dom, came up to New York for a music festival and we ended up having a major heart-to-heart while doing blow in the porta-potty outside the venue.

As it turned out, Dom had sugared in college too. There was a sense of relief and understanding that washed over the both of us as we shared war stories, got real about the emotional struggles we faced as a result of sugaring, and confessed the fear we had about our families finding out about our past. Years of therapy had failed to do what this thirty-minute conversation had. For the first time ever, my feelings and experiences around sex work were being validated, free from judgment. 

Since then, I’ve cultivated several more formidable friendships with women who have or who currently sugar. While I pride myself on having a wildly diverse set of friends (spanning race, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic background, profession, etc.), I’ve found that all my sugar baby friends fit a very specific archetype. All of them are privileged (but not ultra privileged) white women who are college educated.

They are all highly independent and intelligent and view life as a bit of a game. They realize most people in this world are content to just hop on the hamster wheel of mediocrity and be slaves to the system. They, however, intend to play the system to their advantage to avoid having to work a soulless job that sucks the spark out of them. Because after all, how could they keep wrapping men around their fingers and getting them to do their bidding if that je-ne-sais-quoi, manic-pixie dream girl aura got zapped out of them?

Much in the same way Alcoholics Anonymous creates a safe space for addicts to come together, be their authentic selves, and support one another on their healing journeys, my sisterhood of sex workers has been the single most important tool for helping me shed shame and turn my traumatic experiences into insightful ones.

It doesn’t get more cathartic than being able to laugh over the fact you’ve fucked the same daddy – the one with man boobs who made you lick his nipples – or cry as you divulge the details about being anally raped by someone you met on a sugar daddy site. I am beyond grateful to all the sex workers I have met along the way and am proud to be part of a company working to bring sex workers together through acceptance and empowerment.

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Jules

Jules

Author

Based in Brooklyn, Jules has dedicated her twenties towards harnessing her pussy power, exploring the muse, whore, and wild woman archetypes along the way. When not blogging, you can find her sweating the toxins out in a hot yoga class or sipping a matcha latte at a pretentious coffee shop, whilst she scribbles away in her journal.


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